Arkansas Bill Establishing Gun Rights for Medical Marijuana Patients Becomes Law

Arkansas legislation that codifies gun rights for medical marijuana patients has become law.

House Bill 1784 amends Arkansas’ gun laws to explicitly establish legal rights for medical marijuana patients. The measure was passed through the full Senate by a vote of 26 to 3, and was passed by the House of Representatives 82 to 5. The legislation has now been signed into law by Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

House Bill 1784 alters Arkansas’ laws related to concealed carry licenses to state that officials “shall not consider a person’s status as a qualifying patient or designated caregiver under the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2016, Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 98, § 2, in determining whether an applicant is eligible to be issued a license to carry a concealed handgun under this subchapter.”

The measure clarifies that a person’s status as a qualifying patient or designated caregiver is “confidential”, and requires that the Department of Health not disclose the identity of a person who has been issued a registry identification card to the Division of the Arkansas State Police for the purpose of facilitating a criminal history record check or any other background check related to the issuance of a license to carry a concealed handgun.

In addition, the legislation states that the Director of the Division of Arkansas State Police “shall not consider a person’s status as a qualifying patient or designated caregiver under the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2016, Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 98, § 2, in determining whether an applicant or licensee is eligible to be issued a license to carry a concealed handgun”.

The full text of House Bill 1784 can be found by clicking here.

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